About Michelle

mt-bioMichelle Christine Trachtenberg

Born: October 11, 1985
New York, New York, USA

Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
Height 5′ 7″ (1m70)
Nickname: Mitchie
Hobbies: Swimming, rollerblading, ice-skating, bicycling, creating beaded jewelry and writing short stories
Favorite Color: Purple

Filmography

Actress
2013 Killing Kennedy (TV movie) (filming) Marina Oswald
2014 The Scribbler (post-production) Alice
2013 Sexy Evil Genius (video) Miranda Prague
2013 Criminal Minds (TV series – 1 Episode) Diane Turner
2008-2012 Gossip Girl (TV series – 28 Episodes) Georgina Sparks
2006-2012 Robot Chicken (TV series – 5 Episodes) Various Voices
2011 Weeds (TV series – 5 Episodes) Emma Karlin
2011 Love Bites (TV series – 3 Episodes) Jodie
2011 Take Me Home Tonight Ashley
2011 Untitled Peter Knight Comedy Project (TV movie) Gracie
2010 DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection (video) Bar Girl (voice)
2010 DC Showcase: Jonah Hex (video short) Bar Girl (voice)
2009-2010 Mercy (TV series) Nurse Chloe Payne
2010 Cop Out Ava
2009 The Super Hero Squad Show (TV series – 2 Episodes) Valkyrie (voice)
2009 17 Again Maggie
2009 Against the Current Suzanne
2008 The Circuit (TV movie) Kylie Shines
2008 Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (video) Tika (voice)
2007 The Hill (TV movie) Maggie Rogers
2006 Black Christmas Melissa
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent (TV series – 1 Episode) Lisa Willow Tyler
2006 Beautiful Ohio Sandra
2006 House (TV series – 1 Episode) Melinda Bardach
2005 The Dive from Clausen’s Pier (TV movie) Carrie Beal
2005 Ice Princess Casey Carlyle
2004 Mysterious Skin Wendy
2004 Six Feet Under (TV series – 4 Episodes) Celeste
2004 EuroTrip Jenny
2000-2003 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series – 66 Episodes) Dawn Summers
2000 Can’t Be Heaven Julie
2000 A Father’s Choice (TV movie) Kelly McClain
1999 Inspector Gadget Penny
1998 Ri¢hie Ri¢h’s Christmas Wish (video) Gloria
1998 Guys Like Us (TV series – 1 Episode) Katie
1997 Meego (TV series – 13 Episodes) Maggie Parker
1996 Christmas in My Hometown (TV movie) Noelle Murphy
1996 Space Cases (TV series – Episode 1) Prankster #1
1996 Dave’s World (TV series – Episode 1) Angela
1996 Harriet the Spy Harriet M. Welsch
1994-1996 The Adventures of Pete & Pete (TV series – 10 Episodes) Nona Mecklenberg
1995 Melissa Lena (uncredited)
1993-1996 All My Children (TV series) Lilly Benton Montgomery #1
1993 Clarissa Explains It All (TV series – 1 Episode) Elsie Soaperstein
1991 Law & Order (TV series) Dinah Driscoll
Herself
2013 Kathy (TV series) Episode #2.10
2012 Watch What Happens: Live (TV series) Michelle Trachtenberg & Carole Radziwill
2012 Rick Santorum Aborts Presidential Campaign (short)
2010 The City (TV series) The Belle of Elle
2010 Teenage Paparazzo (documentary)
2010 Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf (TV series) Making It
2010 Rachael Ray (TV series) Episode #4.81
2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (TV movie)
2009 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (TV series) Episode #1.33
2009 The Bonnie Hunt Show (TV series) Episode dated 17 April 2009
2009 Zac Goes Back (video documentary short)
2009 Going Back to 17 (video documentary short)
2008 Entertainment Tonight (TV series) Episode dated 27 November 2008
2008 The Hills (TV series) It’s Her Move
2007 May All Your Christmases Be Black (video documentary short)
2007 Space Top 10 Countdown (TV series) Chicks That Kick
2006 Fuse Celebrity Playlist (TV series) Michelle Trachtenberg
2006 Late Night with Conan O’Brien (TV series) Episode dated 22 December 2006
2006 What Have You Done?: The Remaking of ‘Black Christmas’ (TV documentary short)
2006 E! True Hollywood Story (TV series documentary) Hilary Duff Revealed
2006 Punk’d (TV series) Episode #7.6
2005 Biography (TV series documentary) Child Stars II: Growing Up Hollywood
2005 Jimmy Kimmel Live! (TV series) Episode #4.39
2005 Total Request Live (TV series) Episode dated 15 March 2005
2005 The View (TV series) Episode dated 9 March 2005
2005 The 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards (TV special documentary)
2004 ‘Buffy’: Season 7 Overview (video documentary short)
2004 Eurotrip: The Making of ‘Eurotrip’ (video documentary short)
2004 Eurotrip: Nude Beach Exposed (video documentary short)
2004 ‘Buffy’: Season 6 Overview (video documentary short)
2004 Best Week Ever (TV series) 50 Worst Songs, Britney’s New Video and More
2004 The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (TV series) Episode dated 25 February 2004
2004 On-Air with Ryan Seacrest (TV series) Episode dated 16 February 2004
2004 Beat Seekers (TV series) Episode #2.15
2004 The Sharon Osbourne Show (TV series) Episode dated 11 February 2004
2003 Biography (TV series documentary) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Television with a Bite
2003 Truth or Scare (TV series)
2002 HypaSpace (TV series documentary) Episode #1.145
2002 The Teen Choice Awards 2002 (TV special)
2001 MADtv (TV series) Episode #7.7
2001 The Teen Choice Awards 2001 (TV special)
2001 The Rosie O’Donnell Show (TV series) Episode dated 18 April 2001
2000 MADtv (TV series) Episode #6.6
1999 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (TV series) Episode dated 29 July 1999
1999 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards ’99
1998-1999 Figure It Out
1998 Reading Rainbow (TV series) Math Curse
1998 The 1998 Annual Kid’s Choice Awards (TV movie)
1998 Blue’s Clues (TV series) Blue’s Birthday
1996 The Rosie O’Donnell Show (TV series) Episode dated 9 July 1996

Biography

youngmtMichelle Christine Trachtenberg was born on the 11th October, 1985, in New York, New York, USA.

Acting…

At the young and tender age of three Michelle said to her mom, Lana, that she wanted to be an actress, and soon she made her first appearance on television in a Wisk soap-powder advert.

Over the next 16 years Michelle would go on to appear in over a hundred commercials, several movies, including her first and most notable movie, “Harriet the Spy”, in which she played the title role of Harriet M. Welch at the age of 11, and many TV shows, including “The Adventures of Pete and Pete”, “Meego”, and “All My Children”.

Michelle also had a supporting role in the live action remake of the 1980s cartoon “Inspector Gadget” playing Penny, Inspector Gadget’s niece. Following that she went on to become a major part of the 5th season story arc of the WB cult show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, in which she plays Dawn Summers, the younger sister of the lead character Buffy.

Michelle can currently be seen on US TV screens in reruns of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and in the Discovery Kids documentary series titled “Truth or Scare” on the Discovery Kids channel.

Since the end of “Buffy” in May 2003 Michelle has completed several film and television projects, including a six episode guest spot on “Six Feet Under” and the teen comedy feature film “Eurotrip” from Blue Sea Productions Inc. and Dreamworks, as well as the indie film “Mysterious Skin” from Greg Aki and the Disney family film “Ice Princess”. Michelle has also filmed a telemovie for the US Lifetime channel called “The Dive From Clausen’s Pier,” which is scheduled to premiere in July 2005, and is now filming the film “Odd Girl Out.” She is scheduled to start filming “Vinyl” and “Four Women” in the latter half of 2005.

Michelle enjoys acting because it allows her to be whoever and whatever she wants to be. She has never had any acting lessons but has been performing naturally since her first commercial.

“It’s very cool to know that something I love to do gives back to the audience. I love entertaining people, and giving them a reason to tune in to their televisions. I love doing what I do so much, that when someone gives me a compliment, I truly appreciate it.”

“I love to be in front of the camera and I love to make people cry – is that a horrible thing?”

Co-stars On Michelle…

James Masters (Spike on “BtVS”), said when he was asked what is was like on the set with the addition of Michelle:
“It’s a very female set. You know? Ah, you don’t crack ah… Well the one thing that’s changed is we really have to watch our jokes around Michelle Trachtenberg – that’s the big change. Everyone’s like looking “Is Michelle here?” And then they tell the dirty joke. Or, like, we’ll do a cuss word and Michelle will be right there and well be like URGH! Especially Sarah. She is very protective of Michelle because Sarah started in the business young too. And, um, both she and Joss are very aware that Michelle does not need to grow up any faster than she needs to grow up, and that she deserves as much of a childhood as we can give her. She’s gonna hate me for that by the way! She’s gonna, (pretends to be Michelle) “I’m not a child! What? childhood? Get out of here!” Michelle rocks but she doesn’t need to hear the dirty words right now, she doesn’t want to hear those words.”

Amber Benson (Tara on “BtVS”) said when she was asked if she had met Michelle yet:
“Noooo! I’m really excited Because I’m a fan from Harriet the Spy. I love that movie!”

When asked: “What’s Michelle Trachtenberg like? I think she’s a great addition to the show…” she answered:
“Me too. She is sweet and kind and a wonderful actress.”

Debby Beece, president of Nickelodeon Movies, 7/10/96:
“Michelle comes off as genuine because she really is a genuine kid. Everyone can identify with her.”

Rosie O’Donnell (Golly in “Harriet the Spy”), during filming of “Harriet”:
“The hottest 11-year-old actress in the country.”

Joss Whedon, “BtVS” creator and executive producer:
“She got to a very real, dramatic, intense place that nobody else had come close to. She tucked it under her arm and walked away with it.”

“She’s just always bouncing around, very perky. She’s so excited that for the people who have been doing this for a long time, we’re kind of buoyed by it. We’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, this is a lot of fun!’ ”

Family Connection…

Michelle lives in LA with her mother, while her father, Michael, and her older sister Irene, 21, live in Brooklyn, New York, where Michelle originally grew up.

Her family has always been very supportive of her acting career. Her mom acts as her agent and even goes on location with her. Michelle says that if it wasn’t for her mom, who told her that she should always believe in her herself, she would not be where she is today.

Looking up to…

Michelle has several role models including Al Pacino, Jodie Foster and Claire Danes, but she says her true role model has to be her mom because “she’s always able to look at the optimistic side of any situation” and she has been Michelle’s greatest supporter.

“I have two really big role models. First of all, Jodie Foster, because I think she has done a terrific job in paving the way for women in Hollywood through all of her amazing accomplishments. And the second one is my mom, because she’s always been a person that I can depend on and turn too. And she’s so strong. She also gave me the best advice that I’ve ever received, and I give it to anyone when I get a chance.”

School Days…

Michelle is a very mature and intelligent young woman and she firmly believes education is very important and definitely wants to go to college when she graduates. When Michelle isn’t filming she attends a normal high school. When she is filming, she gets tutored on-set by a private tutor. Michelle is an excellent student and she has taken part in accelerated programs throughout her school years. Her number one subject is English, but she has a dislike for math. After high school she plans to go to college and work on movies in the summer, however she’s considering taking a year off to make a movie before college. Her ideal choice of college is be Yale where she would like to major in Drama and minor in English Literature.

“Whenever I have a couple of off days I go to regular school. But I have a teacher on set that talks to my school that gets all the work from school and I do it and send it back. This is a great method because it’s 1 teacher to 1 kid instead of 1 teacher to 30 kids, which is good. I’ve always been a good student. I think education is very important. No matter what you always have to have a background in education and everyone on set always makes sure I get my daily hours of school. Whenever I’m working half of the time I’m working has to be spent on school.”

graduationMichelle graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California with the Class of 2003 on Saturday, June 7, 2003. She earned Awards of Excellence in Social Studies and Religion as well, she earned recognition from the California Scholarship Federation. According to all the information available she’s planning on attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Buffy fan before Dawn…

Michelle was a fan of “Buffy” since before she got the role of Dawn, she collects “Buffy” items. She has also worked with Sarah Michelle Gellar on “All My Children” and it was Sarah who recommended her to Joss Whedon for the part. They have a lot in common and Michelle says Sarah has been very supportive of her.

“I’ve known Sarah for seven or eight years, since All My Children, and in the years I’ve known her she’s really grown as a person and a professional. We have a lot of fun together, and I think we have a lot of chemistry when we’re in scenes together. I hope you guys see that too. When on set, if I ever have a cold, she brings me tea and throat lozenges – stuff to make me feel better. She’s a great person.”

In her spare time…

Michelle’s hobbies include writing short stories, screenplays and poetry, and reading. She enjoys making beaded jewelry and collecting fairies. Like her onscreen character, Dawn, she reads the Harry Potter books. During the summer she swims in her pool. She loves hanging out with her friends and going shopping. She has taken Tae Kwon-Do lessons and loves playing tennis. She enjoys going bowling with the cast of “Buffy”. She likes rollerblading, ice-skating and bicycling. She does yoga which she calls “very centering”.

“I love tennis. I tried gymnastics at one point, but my tush got a whole lot of black and blue so that wasn’t fun.”

Michelle is very active in charity work, including Youth of America, DARE, Kmart’s Race Against Drugs, RADD, and the Starlight Children’s Foundation. When asked about her anti-drugs work, she answered, “If I can stop one kid from doing drugs, I know I’ll have made a difference.” A few years ago she helped then President Bill Clinton launch “The Coalition for a Drug Free America” campaign at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Michelle’s Favorites…

Favorite Subject: English
Favorite Movies: “Grease”, “The Sound of Music”, “The Matrix”
Favorite TV Shows: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel”, “Survivor”
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Food: her mom’s stuffed mushrooms
Favorite Actresses: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Claire Danes, Jodie Foster.
Favorite Actors: Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, John Travolta.
Favorite Music: Marc Antony, Destiny’s Child, Debelah Morgan
Favorite Books: Jane Eyre, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, the Harry Potter books
Favorite Team: LA Lakers

Interesting Michelle…

She worked with Sarah Michelle Gellar on “All My Children” (1970) before “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997) and they were good friends. Sarah was the one who recommended Michelle for the part of Dawn.

She grew up in New York but moved to LA three years ago with her mom. Her dad still lives in New York. Her sister Irene recently graduated from college.

Appeared at the Xcel Center at a Sci-fi expo alongside Kristine Sutherland (May 2002)

Said the last line ever in the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997) series.

Dating X-Men actor Shawn Ashmore (2004-)

She loves to play tennis.

She helped then President Bill Clinton launch The Coalition for a Drug Free America campaign.

Attended Notre Dame High School. She graduated with awards in Social Studies and Religion and was also named under the California Scholarship Federation.

Shares a birthday with Joan Cusack and Luke Perry.

Attended Bay Academy Junior High School in Brooklyn, New York

Speaks Russian.

Her birthday is also the wedding anniversary of her “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997) cast mate Alyson Hannigan (Willow) and “Angel” (1999/I)’s Alexis Denisof (Wesley).

Was able to sneak a souvenir from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” set when the show ended, a wooden stake.

Studied ballet as a child, which helped her perfect her skating abilities for “The Ice Princess.”

Is of Russian and German decent

Participated in the golf tournament in Jamaica hosted by Carmen Electra.

Hobbies: Swimming, ice skating, writing poems

Attended Isaac Assimov Public School 99 for elementary school

Has an older sister Irene, b. 1978

Quotable Michelle…

mtonwhite“I love gardening. I think it’s very therapeutic when you’re having a bad day.”

[On being involved in a Buffy spin-off] “I didn’t see myself continuing as Dawn because I like to have diversity in my roles. A lot of people are like: “Oh my God! Little Dawn grew up!” And as much as I love you guys, suck it up.”

[On why she chose not to continue her role as Dawn Summers] “I felt like every year, my character got younger as I got older. The scripts even had me speaking grammatically incorrectly. So I had to do something else. Besides, the show is over. If you miss it, get the DVDs.”

[on the future of Buffy] I’m sure that in some way, shape or form “Buffy” will be continued or the story, through the fans, because we do have such devoted fans and that’s always been very sweet.

“One day I’d like to win an Oscar. But, I tell my mom if I ever get to be rude and demanding to let me know and I’ll stop it. I don’t want to be an actor like that.”

“My confidence comes from me, Michelle, as a person. I don’t necessarily believe that I will act and be a lead forever, but I want to continue to act for a long time. I love to do what I do.”

“A fashion editor at Vogue, that would be awesome.” (On her dream job)

“Anything you throw at me, I’ll try to tackle.”

“I adore London and Paris, and I hope to live in London for a period of time when I’m older.”

“I love tennis. I tried gymnastics at one point, but my tush got a whole lot of black and blue so that wasn’t fun.”

“I always like to say that even though you may be attracted by the more glamorous aspects of Hollywood, it doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into being a good actress. People do not just wake up and think, “I want to be on TV today.” You have to truly believe in your goals, and really fight for what you love. There’s also many sacrifices that one has to make. Sometimes, it is a choice of meeting with a director, or hanging out with your friends. For me, that choice has always been meeting with the director. This line of work takes a lot of determination, especially because there is a lot of rejection in this business. But if you truly want to do this, with every fiber of your being, then just remember, it’s all about hard work.” (September 2001)

“Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t accomplish your goals. Know that you can do anything and anything will happen.” (October 2000)

“I think the most important thing about being an actress is, believing in yourself; if you don’t believe in yourself you can’t accomplish things. You have to have the confidence that you can reach your goal. Hard work is a huge part of acting. I’ve always loved being an actress; this is like breathing to me. The thing that I always remember most is to believe in myself. My mom told me that when I was very young and it has held true all my life.” (September 2000)

“I just know that I love to act and I’ve always set my goals in the field of acting. I’ve always been determined to reach them.” (September 2000)